Are seed oils making us fat? 

Are these seed oils making us fat? Linoleic acid is the most highly consumed polyunsaturated fatty acid in the Western diet and is found in virtually all commonly consumed foods. We are always being told to swap saturated fat and carbohydrates for linoleic acid – the main polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oil, nuts, and seeds – lowers risk of coronary heart disease.

In the article cited in this tweet: it believes this fatty acid is harming people who eat a western diet and encouraging us to eat more than we should. Opponents of seed oils in our diet urge us to return to meat eating with all the lard and tallow that entails.

Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid that is found mostly in plant oils. It’s known as the parent fatty acid of the omega-6 series. The modern Western diet has been consumed in developed English speaking countries for the last 50 years, and is now gradually being adopted in Eastern and developing countries. These nutrition transitions are typified by an increased intake of high linoleic acid (LA) plant oils, due to their abundance and low price, resulting in an increase in the PUFA n-6:n-3 ratio. This increase in LA above what is estimated to be required is hypothesised to be implicated in the increased rates of obesity and other associated non-communicable diseases which occur following a transition to a modern Westernised diet. 

LA can be converted to the metabolically active arachidonic acid, which has roles in inducing inflammation and adipogenesis, and endocannabinoid system regulation.

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